GDP per Capita - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 2:45 pm, 11th June 2019

The noble Lord has been a tireless campaigner for 45 years, in the other place and now here, for reducing the inequalities between Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom. He cited income; the figures I gave were for gross value added. If you look at gross disposable household income, which is slightly different, the gap is slightly narrower but still there. Since 2010, Welsh gross value added per capita has grown by 24%, faster than in Scotland and Northern Ireland. To address his question, he is quite right that when the EU structural funds expire as we leave the EU, the shared prosperity fund will take their place. The size of the shared prosperity fund is a matter to be resolved in the current spending review. There will then be consultation on how it is allocated. However, I have received a very strong message from the noble Lord and from the Welsh Government that they want the replacement to be at least the same size as the structural funds and allocated primarily on the basis of need, and they want the devolved Assemblies and local partners to be involved in that decision. While I cannot give a cast-iron guarantee, I have given one with green tinges round the edge.